In Pepperdine visit, former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss slams ‘destructive ideologies’ (2024)

Liz Truss, the 56th and shortest-serving prime minister in British history, stopped by Pepperdine University Wednesday to talk about her book on the future of American conservatism and the dangers of “destructive ideologies.”

Focusing on her book “Ten Years to Save the West,” Truss and Jim Gash, president of the Christian university, discussed her evolution as a politician, her rise to the prime ministership and quick downfall.

Truss, 48, joked about her tenure at No. 10 Downing Street: “In historical terms, it’s unmatched,” and blamed a massive and powerful “administrative state” for the failure of her economic program.

“The first thing I want to do with this book is to explain to people what is actually going on in British government,” she said. “What I want to tell people is how big the problem is.”

The book is “a catalog of my frustrations, of the battles I had and why we need system change in order to deliver conservative policies.”

Prime Minister for a little over six weeks in 2022, Truss replaced a scandal-ridden Boris Johnson and was chosen by her Conservative Party to lead. She was succeeded by Rishi Sunak and continues to serve as a member of Parliament.

In Pepperdine visit, former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss slams ‘destructive ideologies’ (1)

Truss endorsed Donald Trump for president shortly before the release of her book this month. The book is subtitled “Leading the Revolution Against Globalism, Socialism, and the Liberal Establishment.”

Truss called Trump a conservative, saying “he is somebody who wants to challenge a left-wing establishment and that is exactly what needs to happen.”

She compared politics in Great Britain and the United States, recalling how American friends teased her about government in-fighting and her country’s revolving door of prime ministers.

“And now I’m able to say to them, ‘Look at the House of Representatives, look at what’s going on with your speakers,’ because it’s exactly the same dynamic that’s going on with the House of Representatives and the UK Parliament,” Truss said. “Both of our parties are facing a battle about what the future of conservatism looks like.”

Gash asked the British politician about her views on free speech and the rule of law.

“First of all, I’d love the U.K. to have the First Amendment,” Truss said. “There is more protection in the United States for free speech and that is a fundamentally good thing. Now when that spills over into incitement of violence, that is obviously problematic. I’m very pro free speech, but ordinary citizens in Britain or America have to be allowed to go about their daily lives. And if you can’t go into central London on a Saturday because you’re Jewish or you can’t study at university because you’re Jewish, that is absolutely appalling and disgraceful.”

Truss said conservatism must win in the U.S., if only to combat the power of global administrative states such as the European Convention of Human Rights, the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund, “sucking out the ability of nation states’ self-determination.” These groups have outlived their usefulness, Truss said.

She also warned about the “New Left,” which she said includes advocates for transgender rights, people sounding alarms about climate change, anti-capitalists, and anti-colonialists who are “actively interested in the destruction of our society” and with whom Truss said she could not compromise.

Asked about her political evolution, Truss addressed her time at Oxford University, where she served as president of the Liberal Democrats (“Everyone has a dark past,” she opined.)

“I’ve been called many things, Human Hand Grenade, strutting martinet,” she added.

She also spoke about Brexit, the future of the Tories, and the future of the monarchy, throwing some shade at the Duke and duch*ess of Sussex, who stepped back from their royal roles and live in Santa Barbara.

“I think it works,” Truss said of the monarchy. “I don’t think there’s any appetite for a change. King Charles is very respected. Some of the more problematic elements of the royal family have all gone to California.”

“When we look over the pond to America and we see what your system looks like, it’s not obviously superior,” Truss said with a smile, to which Gash replied: “We can possibly say the same about yours.”

Truss told the crowd at the Malibu campus that despite the warnings in her book, she remains optimistic about the future of conservatism in both countries.

“I do believe things can change but what I’m saying to people is a big change is required,” she said.

She advised students to go into politics, “which may sound crazy given how burned my fingers have got from that pursuit.”

“I feel we need people with talent, vision and principles who are unbending, to be prepared to enter the political fray. I think it’s an honorable career.”

In Pepperdine visit, former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss slams ‘destructive ideologies’ (2024)
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